Career Lawyers Overruled on Voting Case - 2 in pic were in front of a polling place Nov Election

Career Lawyers Overruled on Voting Case - 2 in pic were in front of a polling place Nov Election

Career Lawyers Overruled on Voting Case
More news stories on Elections
Jerry Seper, Washington Times, May 29, 2009

Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews.

The incident—which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube—had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms.

The career Justice lawyers were on the verge of securing sanctions against the men earlier this month when their superiors ordered them to reverse course, according to interviews and documents. The court had already entered a default judgment against the men on April 20.

A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday confirmed that the agency had dropped the case, dismissing two of the men from the lawsuit with no penalty and winning an order against the third man that simply prohibits him from bringing a weapon to a polling place in future elections.

The department was “successful in obtaining an injunction that prohibits the defendant who brandished a weapon outside a Philadelphia polling place from doing so again,” spokesman Alejandro Miyar said. “Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law.”

Court records reviewed by The Times show that career Justice lawyers were seeking a default judgment and penalties against the three men as recently as May 5, before abruptly ending their pursuit 10 days later.

People directly familiar with the case, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution, said career lawyers in two separate Justice offices had recommended proceeding to default judgment before political superiors overruled them.

Justice officials declined to say whether [Attorney General Eric] Holder or other senior Justice officials became involved in the case, saying they don’t discuss internal deliberations.

The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with “a dangerous weapon”and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4.

The complaint said the three men engaged in “coercion, threats and intimidation, . . . racial threats and insults, . . . menacing and intimidating gestures, . . . and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote.” It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would “continued to violate . . . the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country.”

To support its evidence, the government had secured an affidavit from Bartle Bull, a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Mr. Bull said in a sworn statement dated April 7 that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher in Philadelphia when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with a nightstick.

Inexplicably, the government did not enter the affidavit in the court case, according to the files.

“In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll,” he declared. “In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi . . . I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location.”

Mr. Bull said the “clear purpose” of what the Panthers were doing was to “intimidate voters with whom they did not agree.” He also said he overheard one of the men tell a white poll watcher: “You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”

He called their conduct an “outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear.” He said it was a “racially motivated effort to limit both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree.”

The three men named in the complaint—New Black Panther Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson—refused to appear in court to answer the accusations over a near-five month period, court records said.

Court records show that as late as May 5, the Justice Department was still considering an order by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia to seek judgments, or sanctions, against the three Panthers because of their failure to appear.

But 10 days later, the department reversed itself and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal from the complaint for Malik Zulu Shabazz and Mr. Jackson.

That same day, the department asked for the default judgment against King Samir Shabazz, but limited the penalty to an order that he not display a “weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location on any election day in the city of Philadelphia” until Nov. 15, 2012.

Efforts to reach the Panthers were unsuccessful. A telephone number listed on the New Black Panthers Web site had been disconnected.

The complaint said that the three men were deployed at the entrance to a Philadelphia polling location wearing the uniform of the New Black Panther Party and that King Samir Shabazz repeatedly brandished a police-style nightstick with a contoured grip and wrist lanyard.

According to the complaint, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Howard University Law School graduate, said the placement of King Samir Shabazz and Mr. Jackson in Philadelphia was part of a nationwide effort to deploy New Black Panther Party members at polling locations on Election Day.

7 Comments

5 years 22 weeks ago, 8:13 PM

raffycanlas

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fuck black panthers

pussies

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 22 weeks ago, 10:10 PM

DEMO

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What the fuck

The same people who preach tolerance, diversity and civil rights refuse to enforce the rule of law when it is a minority. Dr King would be pissed to see the African American "leaders" of today. People such as sharpton, J Jackson and Farakahn preach diversity and tolerance unless of course the tolerance and diversity is of White Christian men.....
The legal system does not select people on the base of race.
We need to end the hypocracy and truly have a "American Interest" which is not done by splintering us into different demographics for handouts.
The Democratic Party is a racist, hypocritical and powerhungry. They stay in power by causing divisions in the nation.......not healing old wounds and unifying the people..

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
5 years 22 weeks ago, 10:41 PM

DEMO

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You think I am racist- then its ok to intimidate whites? When will racism end if we continue to purpetuate racial overtones with affirmative action, racial politics and and culture of poverty?
Do you think Dr. King would want to continue the agenda of people like the Black Panthers, Nation of Islam or whatever Jessee Jackson is doing?
People like Sharpton and Jackson keep racial tensions alive because it keeps them in the money.
I live in NY and see the tension they create. One day the workplace is fine. Sharpton comes into town and preaches to people (who make the same wage I get)that they gave less of everything because of their race. Next day there is a racial problem at work.....those guys suck.
Also Kool-aid- fag, why can I not like or quote MLK's message "equality".
He was a great visionary whom I have a great respect of. He achieved greatness without fireing a shot.
Do you think MLK would like the direction of our culture- no. He was a man of Christ who wanted fairness, morality and love for our fellow man.......

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
5 years 22 weeks ago, 10:57 PM

raffycanlas

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hey demo, listen up

hate to tell you what to do my friend, but dont argue with bitchmeat, because his posts will just get deleted anyways, he can come here and spew his pro muslim acts and such but tomorrow, its gone again.

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 22 weeks ago, 11:16 PM

DEMO

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raffy-got it

This guy arguements are made up nonsense. Americans were responsible for 911? Christianity is responsible for terrorism? I will ignore him thank you

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
5 years 22 weeks ago, 11:01 PM

raffycanlas

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all they do is talk trash, then i talk back, and if they move closer with that pole stick "homeboy" has, he would find out how a +p+ 9mm hollow point feels on his large monkey like forehead.

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
5 years 22 weeks ago, 11:24 PM

raffycanlas

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yeah demo

if youve noticed greasypaws and runaway dont even argue with the bitch anymore, i didnt know there was such thing as a "mail" cop, FREEZE AND GIMME UR LETTERS lol.

I'm just another damn yankee with a loaded gun looking for some fun!
samD's picture
Posted by: samD
5 years 22 weeks ago
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